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We Asked Hannah Brown for Her Favorite Walking Shoes—These Are the Ones That Protect Her Feet

She admits that they’re not “the most trendy,” but they’re “actually comfortable.”

a photo of Hannah Brown

McAlister’s Deli/Danielle Del Valle Photography. EatingWell design.

You may know her from The Bachelor or as the lead in the 15th season of The Bachelorette, but one thing you may not know about Hannah Brown is her love of reading. And since March is National Reading Month and the star’s new book Mistakes We Never Made comes out this May, Brown teamed up with McAlister’s Deli to help launch their limited-edition book club menu featuring adventure, comedy, fantasy and romance-inspired bites.

To celebrate, we were given the opportunity to sit down with Brown and talk more about her reading habits and book club tips. Plus, we learned all about her morning routine, her go-to pair of walking shoes and the comforting dishes that remind her of home.

a photo of Hannah Brown

McAlister’s Deli/Danielle Del Valle Photography

EatingWell: What’s your typical morning routine?

Brown: I wouldn't say I'm an early riser. I love my sleep so much, and it's usually because I got in bed but was reading and stayed up way too late. In the mornings I try not to rush as much as I can, and a hot cup of tea in the morning is so important to me because when you drink tea, you’ve got to drink it slowly. And I'll usually take some time to practice some mindfulness, quiet time. I'm a person of faith, so being able to get in the word of God is when my morning is going smoothly. I also love to make sure that I get out and see the sun because I could fall asleep five seconds after I wake up in the morning–the alarm can go on for forever. But once I see the sun, I feel like I’m alive. Making sure even if it's just for a little bit, I walk out with my tea and take in the sun as long as there's not a gray gloom over Nashville that day.

EatingWell: Favorite ways to exercise?

Brown: One thing that’s really simple and everybody can do is go on walks throughout the day. We can get so busy and then be so sedentary. I really try to just make sure that I'm going and walking around the block when I can just take a little second. One thing that I've changed in the past few years is doing a lot more strength training. I was into high intensity and I definitely think there's a time and place for that, but I love doing strength training three times a week. I feel like it really helps with my anxiety and my mental health. It’s great to be able to concentrate on lifting a heavier weight and making sure that I'm having that body awareness that strength training gives me instead of just going so hard, so fast and not being actually aware of my body. 

EatingWell: Do you have a go-to pair of sneakers?

Brown: I used to do Brooks, but now I’m an Asics girl. The Asics Gel-Kayanos I feel like fit my foot. I have kind of a wide foot, but they have like a wide option and I think making sure you can protect your feet is so, so important on shoes that are actually comfortable. Hey, they might not always be the most trendy and attractive, but we are caring for ourselves. We are making sure that our feet feel good so we can keep walking those extra miles.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 30

Asics GEL-Kayano 30

Courtesy of Brand

EatingWell: Any hosting tips for those looking to start their book club?

Brown: Especially when hosting at home, I love to make sure that my house is kept clean and cozy. I do think it's important to have things for people to munch on and snack on. I'm not always the best chef, so being able to have places where I can order online or pick up is really important to me and being able to have a lot of variety is important. You never know what somebody is going to be wanting, and it just creates a good atmosphere for people to have full bellies. To be able to sit around, enjoy and create really great connections, it's important to allow people to just relax and really get into the conversation about great books.

EatingWell: What are your favorite snacks or drinks you enjoy while you're reading?

Brown: I love tea. I love drinking hot tea and curling up on the couch or in bed. To drink some tea after a busy day and just go to a different world and get lost in a book, I love that. I'm always drinking some type of tea, whether that is decaf or in the morning if I have some time for a good breakfast blend—I go to London once and think I need to drink tea all the time. And I definitely have a sweet tooth, so anytime I can have a little piece of chocolate or a little cookie, that is my snack of choice.

EatingWell: When you think of home, are there any comforting dishes that come to mind that you love?

Brown: One thing my mom always has is this spinach dip that she makes from scratch. It is so delicious—any type of dip transports me back home. And then she'll make chocolate chip cookies. If I have a chocolate chip cookie, I think about my mom. It's something that was always at our house. Also chicken salad, a good chicken salad sandwich is such a Southern staple. I feel like there is a difference between chicken salad in the South versus when I lived in Los Angeles. It just wasn't the same, I think there needs to be a little bit more mayo.

EatingWell: Could you talk more about this partnership with McAlister's?

I'm so blessed to have this opportunity for this partnership because it really just makes sense. I have always been an avid reader, and even when I have a really busy schedule, I can’t put a book down. And sometimes that means that I'm eating while I'm reading—the amount of smears of food that are on some of my favorite books is a little embarrassing. I would say that my moods change quite a bit and when that comes the different types of food that I want, so variety is really important to me. McAlister’s Deli has a million different combinations you can make. To be able to partner with them for National Reading Month this March and create a limited-edition menu that is based on my favorite book genres was a match made in heaven.

EatingWell: What does “eating well” mean to you?

Brown: Eating well to me means having options. Different flavors and variety is really important for me. I don't like being stuck in a rut in my life and stuck in a rut in the way that I'm enjoying food, so to be able to have different things to choose from and to enjoy is really important to me.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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